On 29 September, 2008, a bomb went off near a mosque in Malegaon in North Maharashtra. 6 died and over a hundred were injured. According to the prosecution, the blast was the handiwork of a Hindu extremist group. Arrested in the blast case, the suspect Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur was given a clean chit by the national Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2015. But the trial court refused to discharge her from the case, given that her motorcycle was used in the blast. Moreover, she had cited her ‘dissatisfaction at the low volume of casualties the blast could manage’. The court had dropped the charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act(MCOCA) against her, and she’s now being tried under the Unlawful Activities(Prevention) act. She was granted bail by the Bombay High Court in 2017. She is contesting to the Lok Sabha in 2019 from Bhopal representing the BJP, and her opponent is Congress’ veteran leader Digvijay Singh.
Thus, Bhopal has a person still under the microscope of law suspected of setting off a bomb that killed and maimed many near a mosque, as one of the contestants for Member of Parliament. The ruthless crimester and a loudmouth has no qualms of contesting the elections. Neither does the party she represents-the BJP have second thoughts of granting her a ticket. After all, the saffron-clad Sadhvi sporting a huge tilak on her forehead suits the BJP and its manifesto, overt or covert. She perfectly fits the bill of the party.
To be fair to the Sadhvi, she’s not the only criminal to be given tickets to contest the 2019 general Elections. Nearly 5th, or 19% of the close to 8000 candidates contesting the 2019 elections have declared pending criminal cases against them while 29% have assets worth Rs. 1 crore or more, according to a report by the election watchdog (Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). In fact, the share of candidates with criminal cases increased by 4% points between 2009 and 2019 elections from 15% to 19%, while the share of crorepati candidates increased by 13% points from 16% to 29%. Out of 1500 candidates with declared criminal cases, 1070(13% of all candidates) have criminal cases of serious nature viz: murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, rape and other crimes against women, and hate speech. Big political parties in India have a larger share of such candidates. For instance, nearly 4 in 10 candidates of the BJP and the Congress have declared criminal cases against them. Some ‘famed’ Indian democracy that! Among the seven national Indian parties, the CPI (M) has the largest share of such candidates (58%), while the BSP has the lowest (22%). But these figures do not condone the loud mouthing the Sadhvi resorted to during her campaigning in Bhopal. She went on to indulge in the most distasteful vitriol by declaring that the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) Chief Hemant Karkare died in the 26/11 Mumbai carnage because she cursed him for treating her ‘very badly’ while in custody in the Malegaon Blast case. She fumed ‘he died of his karma. I told him he will be destroyed. I told him his entire dynasty will be erased’. Blatant Expression of extreme and blind hatred for a person who died while serving his country, and to do so while he is survived by his family, speaks of scant regard and basic humanity the BJP has for India’s true fallen heroes. For the party only those who lost their lives in Pulwama and subsequently in the claimed ‘surgical strike’ in Balakot seemed to matter, for only those would fetch them precious votes in the 2019 elections. What does those who lost their lives in the 26/11 carnage in 2008, which took place during the UPA rule under Dr. manmohan Singh matter in the elections of 2019!? For the BJP grossly engaged in vote- grabbing by hook or by crook, those who died in the 2008 violation of Indian Territory does not matter. To them, they were not worthy to be considered ‘nationals’. Only those who lost their lives in pulwama and Balakot mattered, as only they would fetch them votes. How crude can electioneering be? The Sadhvi seemed to care nothing for the sensitivity and sensibility of hemant’s surviving family members who were still bereaved at their huge loss. Hemant Karkare, an Asok Chakra awardee was a valiant son of India who laid down his life for his nation while battling it out with Pakistan-trained terrorists who created mayhem in Mumbai on November 26 2008.the men in uniform protested against Sadhvi’s scant respect for the 26/11 martyrs. But, why should the BJP care about the martyrs of 2008 in 2019? Banking on those who lost their lives back then wouldn’t fetch them votes that are badly needed in 2019!
Close to the heels of Sadhvi’s diatribe against a fallen son of India, which drew no reaction or censuring from Sadhvi’s political bosses, as always, she dropped another bombshell- more distasteful, repulsive and puerile.
The Makkal Needhi Maiyam founder and actor turned politician Kamal Hassan had declared in a poll rally in Tamil Nadu that ‘the first terrorist of free India was a Hindu, and his name was Nathuram Godse’. The rightist forces viz; BJP, RSS and their sister concerns, for whom Godse was a martyr, Kamal’s observation hurt. Though he spoke the truth, Kamal should have just said that ‘the first terrorist of free India was nathuram Godse’, and stopped at that. He chose, like a typical politician to play to the gallery by referring to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin’s faith. The Sadhvi, piqued by kamal’s statement about the man who her party and it’s close affiliate the RSS had chose to eulogize and to crown a martyr, on numerous occasions chose to react to Kamal’s statement while campaigning for her party candidate in Agar Malwa in Madhya Pradesh by describing Godse, the man who assassinated the apostle of peace who bought freedom for India from the British without firing a single bullet or throwing a single stone, or resorting to a single hate word or phrase, as a ‘patriot’. ‘Nathuram Godse was a patriot, is a patriot, and will always be one’ she fumed. Her words added to the heinousness of the party she represented at the hustings. BJP’s visage turned more grotesque that moment. India shuddered. India lost hope that moment because Sadhvi represented a national party- the BJP, who was the favorite to win the 2019 elections and retain power in New Delhi. Sadhvi through that observation on Godse betrayed her party’s manifesto- a manifesto of hate, of division, of sheer irresponsibility, and of dark hopelessness. A manifesto that cared not for the rising crime against women and the girl child, unemployment, farmer suicides, sick citizens, murder of people who dared to question and chose to believe in free speech and healthy political discourse like gauri Lankesh and Professor. kalburghi, but was more bothered about what people ate, and how they ‘respected’ the national anthem and the tricolor, and correcting the so-called distortion of history by film makers. Indians couldn’t believe their eyes and ears when the media showed the saffron-clad and thilak-sporting candidate of Bhopal spew venom by calling Godse a ‘patriot’, Sadhvi indirectly termed Godse’s victim- India’s own ‘Father of the Nation’, an anti national. For it is the anti-nationals the patriots want done away with, and will work toward it. Sadvi gave an entirely new meaning to patriotism and nationalism, and added a BJP brand to such lofty commodities. For perhaps the first time, Prime Minister Modi shed crocodile tears. ‘I will not be able to forgive Pragya for sullying Bapu’ he quipped. But, it was too late. The damage was done. BJP and it’s real intensions stood exposed.Is it safe to entrust the keys of governance to these hate mongers for another five years? Will her party, which took its attempts to confer martyrdom on Godse and to canonize him, to new heights take India, the country on which and for which the mahatma died for, to development and things that really mattered? Far away from hate, from division, from crass intolerance and from darkness and hopelessness? God bless India if Sadhvi Pragya Singh thakur’s party retains power in Delhi for another five years or perhaps much more! This is the prayer on every well-meaning Indian’s lips, as the visage of the party considered favorite to win the 2019 general Elections look frighteningly grotesque, as exposed by its candidate from bhopal-Sadhvi Pragya Singh thakur.